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By Barb - 24 Sep 2012

In Reference to: 23 September 2012 - Jesus, Son of David, Have Mercy on Me!

Dear Pastor Frank,

I just read your wonderful sermon. Thank you so much.

I have had hardness of heart (wishing the researchers in labs who tortured the cats could take their place for example). I guess it doesn't occur to me that praying for them could change their hearts.

I loved the story of Joe who cleaned the street each day as they laughed at him but now they have a beautiful clean neighborhood.

Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to strike up conversations with strangers about animal suffering. I am afraid of their reaction and I am afraid of my own reaction, because I feel so strongly about animal cruelty. What if I can't stay soft and I seem to give up without really trying. I seem to dread things before they even occur.

I have had college VP's make me leave campuses, threaten to call the police, tell me they will Stop Me....their faces red with anger, their voices bitter, hard, mean. I tell them You Can't Stop Me, even as I am walking away, even when I know they can. I am not soft. I feel this contempt for them...trying to silence my plea to end the killing.

I believe I am afraid that people on the street may react in the same way as the people in Charge at colleges / businesses. Why am I afraid of this? It doesn't actually hurt me. It does bring up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings like anger, anxiety, sadness, rejection, betrayal to animals.

I wish I could be like Joe and quietly sweep a street. Then again, when I leaflet I am being quiet but effective. But even leafleting on the street can be hard on the nerves. There can be unkind remarks and laughs, etc. Perhaps I should be Praying for strength and calmness while I am leafleting? (not out loud). I have never tried praying while leafleting.

In reality, college kids nearly always take the brochures (some even thank me)  and most young people and teens on the street take a brochure, but older people look stonily past me or refuse with that angry tone. Now and now I am confronted, usually by a farmer. 

I need to go to Vegan Outreach's website where they have articles about how to react (softly) to these people. But perhaps I also need to pray my way through it. You gave me lots to think about.

Do you talk to strangers at the grocery store? Drugstore? Any particular places?

A friend has a very vivid black animal rights shirt and on the back it says in large white words " Right Now animals are being beaten, castrated, electrocuted, etc - about 10 more horrifying words.... but she has never worn it. She's afraid. I have often thought about buying this shirt and wearing it when I am out and about. The true thoughts behind the words make you wince. People would be a bit shocked reading the words on this shirt especially with ground beef in their shopping cart. Is it a good idea to be a walking billboard to remind people of the cruelty they pretend does not exist? Or is it too bold?

I can't believe I just asked that is much bolder to kill and mutilate animals than to simply wear a shirt that speaks the truth. Right?

Any advice from anyone is always appreciated. thanks so much -